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Ben-Gurion University
[BGU, Political Philosophy] Yossi Yonah, [Sapir] Yeela Raanan, [Haifa U] Abeer Baker, speaking against Israel in Holland



Gate48: http://www.gate48.org/?page_id=2

"We believe that the only way to end this destructive situation is by non-violent resistance: resisting the occupation, resisting the separation and resisting all the violent acts by Israeli governments in the name of security. We do not, in any way, condone Palestinian violence."


Silencing Israel: Critical Voices Under Siege
"gate48" <info@gate48.org>
Sun, 17 Oct 2010 09:18:11 +0200

To: "gate48"<info@gate48.org>

Symposium with academics and human rights activists from Israel

While Israel is often referred to as “The only democracy in the Middle East”, it has always been a rather partial democracy, mostly restricted to its Jewish majority. During the last decade there has been a serious and consistent decline in the democratic standards to which Israel claims to adhere, particularly since the attack on Gaza in 2009. Increased attacks on the freedom of expression in Israel include among others: delegitimizing the of work of Human Rights activists; the detention of demonstrators by police during legal protests; and the “invitation” of human rights activists for cautionary talks with the  secret security service. Additionally, the Israeli parliament is pushing for a series of new legislations that aim to revoke the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as other Israelis who are “not loyal to the country”. Disturbingly, most of these undemocratic measures are widely supported by large constituencies and Israeli society at large. In 2009, a survey published by the Israeli Institute for Democracy indicated that 54% of the total population agrees that “only citizens loyal to the state are entitled to civil rights”.


Israel has never been a full-fledged democracy. For more than sixty years it has treated Palestinians in Israel as second class citizens, and for forty-three years it has occupied the territory of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza strip who go without any rights. To date, almost half of the population under Israeli control has no citizenship. The rights of many citizens, members of ethnic minority groups as well as Jewish human and civil rights activists, are now under threat more than ever before.


Human rights organizations and concerned activists represent a hope that one day Israel will be a democracy for all. With the rapid changes in the ‘democratic climate´ of Israel, this hope is swiftly shifting to despair. By bringing together activists and researchers, this symposium examines the anti-democratic forces at work, those targeted by them and those resisting them. It will furthermore consider the possible contribution of international awareness and engagement.



Silencing Israel

Silencing Israel: Critical Voices Under Siege
Symposium with academics and human rights activists from Israel


Wednesday, 3 November, 20:00
Amstelkerk, Amstelveld 10, Amsterdam

The Criminalisation of the Political Act
Abeer Baker, Advocate
Senior Attorney, Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Lecture: Protestors Behind Bars

Dr. Dov Khenin
Member of the Israeli Parliament (‘Hadash’ party), Chairman Joint Committee for Health and the Environment

Lecture: The Struggle on Israel’s Democratic Space
and What Can Democrats Abroad do About That

Miri Weingarten
Director, JNews - Alternative Jewish Perspectives on Israel and Palestine

Lecture: Threats to dissent in Israel:
Silencing opposition through law and incitement

Moderator: Dr. Erella Grassiani
Lecturer at the VU University Amsterdam, and board member of gate48

Thursday, 4 November, 20:00
Doelenzaal at the University Library, Singel 425, Amsterdam

Culture and Media: the Right to Remain Silent

Galit Eilat
Writer, curator and the founding director of the Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, and research curator at the Van Abbe Museum

Lecture: Freedom of Expression and Whom it Serves

Anat Saragusti
Journalist, executive director of Agenda, Israeli Center for Strategic Communication

Lecture: Media. Democracy and Human Rights

Discussant: Prof. dr. Niko Besnier
Professor for Cultural Anthropology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology,
University of Amsterdam

Moderator: Dr. Barak Kalir
Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam

Friday, 5 November, 20:00
Doelenzaal at the University Library, Singel 425, Amsterdam

The role of the Public Intellectual

Dr. Hilla Dayan
Lecturer, Amsterdam University College, and co-founder of gate48

Introduction: the State of Affairs in Israeli Academia

Prof. dr. Yossi Yonah
Professor of Political Philosophy, Department of Education, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Keynote: Ethno-Nationalism and the Closing of the Israeli Intellectual and Public Mind

Moderator: Shifra Kisch
Ph.D candidate, University of Amsterdam 


Dear friends, 

We would like to invite you to the additional program of this week in the Unrecognized exhibition at the Melkweg Gallery:

Saturday the 16th 17:00 gallery tour with Dr. Yeela Raanan, about the new governmental plan for the unrecognized villages, the "Praver Plan", which includes the erasure of about 20 of the 45 unrecognized villages; and what can be done to help stop this.

Dr Raanan is a resident of the Negev, and active in pursuing the rights of the residents of the unrecognized villages. She has been working with the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages, and the Negev Coexistence Forum. Adjunct professor at Sapir College, Public Policy and Administration. 


Sunday the 17th 19:00 at the Melkweg cinema the documentary Voices from El-Sayed (Oded Adomi Leshem).

The screening will be  followed by a discussion with Shifra Kisch, anthropologist and researcher of contemporary Negev Bedouin society, at the University of Amsterdam, member of gate48.


More about the exhibition and the additional program you can read at:

www.gate48.org  or www.melkweg.nl.

You can also become our fried at Facebook at: www.facebook.com/gate48

The Bedouin are the native Arab inhabitants of the Negev desert. They make up ten percent of the Arab/Palestinian population of Israel, and are one of the most disempowered groups within Israeli society, as well as one of the most discriminated against. Most of the Bedouin lost their land with the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, and live as refugees in Egypt, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank. The Bedouin who remained within the borders of Israel have been relocated to a concentrated area in the Negev. The Bedouin citizens of Israel now amount to 180,000, half of them reside in seven townships established by the state. The other half inhabit, some 36 villages that are officially not recognized by the Israeli authorities. These unrecognized villages do not appear on official maps; they have no water and electricity infrastructure, no roads, and no sewage systems. In addition to that, the inhabitants of the unrecognized villages are under a constant threat of house demolitions. The most recent demolition of houses took place in July. At the order of the Israeli authorities al 35 houses of the village al-Arakib were completely demolished. As a result, some 400 people now find themselves without a home.

In order to bring more public attention to the villages and their struggle for recognition, the Israeli photographer Tal Adler, in collaboration with ‘Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages’ and individual representatives from the Bedouin community in the Negev, created a project that portrays each village through a single story and a photograph. The choice of the story to be told and what picture should accompany it, was made jointly by the person in the photo and Adler himself, in a process that took over two years.

Tal Adler was born in Jerusalem, and currently lives and works in Vienna. Adler is an artist, activist, curator and lecturer. In his artistic work he employs methodologies of academic and journalistic research and of creative social-political activism. Adler studied in various art institutions, including the post-graduate program in Bezalel Academy for Art in Jerusalem and is holding a Magister in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, Austria.

The “Unrecognized” project has been presented at a variety of venues in Israel, Europe and the USA, in the intention to mobilize the international community to contribute to the process of change in Israel.

Stichting gate48 - is the initiator and co-organizer of this exhibition.




Gate48 was founded by three Israeli women, living in The Netherlands. Out of deep concern for all the different groups (ethnic, national, religious) living in Israel, we chose a critical point of view regarding Israel and the conflict it is in. We believe that the road of violence, which successive Israeli governments have adopted for more then 60 years, will never lead to a real solution. We believe the separation between both people, which has been imposed on both Israelis and Palestinians, only leads to more violence and hatred.

As Israelis, we are connected to Israel by family, the Hebrew language, food, smells, noise and the landscape. Israel is our home, a home that is going up in flames. Our motivations for action are the result of a deep desire to create a change within Israel. In addition, we share a deep feeling of guilt. As Israelis, we are part of the mechanism of occupation; everything that happens in Israel and the occupied territories is done in our name, supposedly for our own security.

We believe that the only way to end this destructive situation is by non-violent resistance: resisting the occupation, resisting the separation and resisting all the violent acts by Israeli governments in the name of security. We do not, in any way, condone Palestinian violence. However, we as Israelis, are responsible for acts of violence done in our name, and therefore are obliged to appeal to our government.
Out of deep love and concern for our family and friends living in Israel, we feel obliged to act against the destructive mechanisms of war. As Israelis living in the Netherlands we choose to act by exposing what we oppose; by suggesting that Israelis and Jews are not bound by the fear-mongering machine of Israeli (and to some extent Jewish) propaganda. In that way we wish to inform and inspire others that live in the Netherlands. We hope they will question and finally oppose the mainstream Israeli point of view, which is all too easily accepted here, as in most Western countries with no questions asked.

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